Thought suppression failures in combat PTSD: a cognitive load hypothesis.

Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA.
Behaviour Research and Therapy (Impact Factor: 3.85). 10/2009; 47(9):744-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2009.06.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The present study investigated the relation between thought suppression of emotionally neutral content [i.e., Wegner's (1994) "white bear"], incidental traumatic thought intrusion, and skin conductance responses in combat-related Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Participants included service members who either: a) had PTSD following an Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment; b) were free of psychiatric diagnosis following deployment (Combat Equivalent), or c) were pre-deployed and without psychiatric diagnosis (Pre-Deployed). PTSD Service Members reported the greatest intrusion of combat thoughts during the suppression task and demonstrated a post-suppression rebound effect with a neutral thought. Non-specific skin conductance responses indicated that the suppression task was related to similar levels of increased sympathetic activity for both the PTSD and Pre-Deployed groups, whereas the Combat Equivalent group showed no increased activation during thought suppression. Intrusive traumatic thoughts combined with failures in neutral thought suppression may be a consequence of increased cognitive load in PTSD.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric syndrome that develops after exposure to terrifying and life-threatening events including warfare, motor-vehicle accidents, and physical and sexual assault. The emotional experience of psychological trauma can have long-term cognitive effects. The hallmark symptoms of PTSD involve alterations to cognitive processes such as memory, attention, planning, and problem solving, underscoring the detrimental impact that negative emotionality has on cognitive functioning. As such, an important challenge for PTSD researchers and treatment providers is to understand the dynamic interplay between emotion and cognition. Contemporary cognitive models of PTSD theorize that a preponderance of information processing resources are allocated toward threat detection and interpretation of innocuous stimuli as threatening, narrowing one's attentional focus at the expense of other cognitive operations. Decades of research have shown support for these cognitive models of PTSD using a variety of tasks and methodological approaches. The primary goal of this review is to summarize the latest neurocognitive and neuroimaging research of emotion-cognition interactions in PTSD. To directly assess the influence of emotion on cognition and vice versa, the studies reviewed employed challenge tasks that included both cognitive and emotional components. The findings provide evidence for memory and attention deficits in PTSD that are often associated with changes in functional brain activity. The results are reviewed to provide future directions for research that may direct better and more effective treatments for PTSD.
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2012; 6:89.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the search for ever higher output power or energy from fibre oscillators or amplifiers a nowadays mature technology relies on enlarging the fibre mode area. Broadening of the core diameter, all other things being equal, inevitably yields a multimode fibre, thereby dramatically limiting the device usefulness. Various strategies have been deployed to design and manufacture single transverse mode fibre oscillators and amplifiers, among which making use of the so-called photonic bandgap effect to restrict the modal population seems promising. Helped by efficient and reliable numerical tools the design of large mode area singlemode photonic bandgap fibres is presented. Two fibres with 20-μm and 40-μm core diameter, both of them heavily doped with Yb3+ ions, have been fabricated by the widespread modified chemical vapour deposition process and are shown to behave properly when used as the core element of either continuous wave oscillators or femtosecond amplifiers. Good output beam quality (M2 parameter spanning from 1.12 to 1.5 for the set of fibres studied) and high slope efficiency of 80% in cw oscillation regime are demonstrated. Furthermore the 40-μm core diameter fibre is shown to be resilient to tight bending down to 7.5-cm radius. The stack-and-draw process makes it easy to tailor the outer cladding so that a large numerical aperture can be reached. Subsequently, from this air-clad fibre, 500 fs 47 W pulses at 35 MHz are obtained from a two-stage chirped pulse amplification system.
    Optical Fiber Technology 12/2010; 16(6):419. · 1.19 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Data suggest military personnel involved in U.S. military initiatives in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning from deployment with elevated rates of mental health diagnoses, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The aim of this study was to examine difficulties with emotion regulation as a potential contributory mechanism by which soldiers have poorer psychological outcomes, such as depression, dissociation, alcohol abuse, and interpersonal difficulties. Participants were 44 active-duty male service members who comprised three groups, including those deployed with and without diagnosed PTSD and those prior to deployment. Participants in the PTSD group scored significantly higher on measures of self-reported depression, trauma-related dissociation, alcohol misuse, and social adjustment difficulties than did comparison groups. Importantly, difficulties with emotion regulation were found to partially mediate the relationship between PTSD and depression, poor social adjustment, and trauma-related depersonalization but not alcohol misuse. Emotion-regulation difficulties are important to consider in the relationship between PTSD and additional psychological outcomes in recently deployed personnel. Implications for treatment are briefly discussed.
    Depression and Anxiety 03/2012; 29(7):621-8. · 4.61 Impact Factor